The Middle Ground: Why It’s Okay Not to Pick Sides

You’re not alone. The good old days of mild disagreements seem to be fading fast, replaced by fiery debates on every topic under the sun.

You know the drill, right? The moment you step into a social gathering, bam! You’re ambushed with questions like, “Are you pro-this or anti-that?”

Lately, I have been reluctant to attend social events to avoid these exhausting ideological face-offs.

Let’s face it – it feels like you need to pick a side on everything. Are you Team Modi, Rahul, or Kejriwal? It’s like walking through a minefield of opinions where everything is black or white. But here’s a thought – what if I don’t see the world in monochrome?

I have always believed in judging actions, not people. Like with friends or family, I call it as I see it. No blanket support, no unjust prejudice. But try explaining that in today’s world, where neutrality is mistaken for boredom or indecision.

It’s increasingly becoming a world of extremes. Remember when most of us used to sit in the middle comfortably? Now, that space seems like a distant memory. Everyone’s picking a camp and shouting their stance from the rooftops.

I refused to be dragged into this polarised chaos.

“Are you with us or against us?” This argument never made sense to me. My opinions are not one-size-fits-all; they vary based on the issue.

Take, for instance, infrastructure development under the Modi government – the new expressways are a traveller’s dream. Interstate travel time has been drastically reduced. I can’t help but appreciate that. But then, there are areas like pollution control where every government seems to stumble. And boy, do I have a problem with that!

My stance is issue-based, and I see no harm in that. Isn’t that what democracy is about – the freedom to have your own opinion?

However, what’s troubling is this new trend of stretching arguments to the breaking point. Conversations, whether face-to-face or over WhatsApp, quickly escalate into bitter exchanges. Moderation is becoming rare, and tolerance for opposing views is even rarer.

Our strength has always been diversity, our ability to agree to disagree. But now, it’s like “my way or the highway” is the new mantra. And that’s something I can’t accept.

So, what’s the solution? If changing the world is off the table, maybe it’s about changing how we engage with it. I choose not to be drawn into extremes. It’s not about being indecisive; it’s about being thoughtful.

It’s okay to stand in the middle. It’s okay to see shades of grey in a world that insists on black and white. Your opinions are yours alone – nuanced, complex, and uniquely yours. Don’t let the world bully you into picking a side when your heart seeks balance. In these times of extreme polarisation, remember – the middle ground isn’t just a safe space; it’s a space of wisdom and understanding.

 As we navigate an increasingly divided world, let’s cherish our ability to think independently. Let’s not lose ourselves in the noise of extremes. Embrace the middle ground, hold onto your nuanced views, and let’s bring back the art of agreeing to disagree.

Let’s celebrate the diversity of opinions, not condemn it. So, step into those social gatherings, armed not with a chosen side but with the power of a balanced perspective.

If that’s not possible, you can opt-out. Like I do, sometimes.

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